By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Did Jindal fake his anecdote?

This is too funny. It’s amusing enough that Bobby Jindal’s anecdote about the sheriff and the boats the other night was, when you think about it, the story of a heroic Democrat standing up to heartless Republican bureaucrats. (Did no one vet his remarks?)

Even better, it seems that Jindal may have made it all up.

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  1. lkcape

    And Hillary landed under sniper fire in Bosnia with Chelsea.

  2. Dan Kennedy

    Ikcape: I suppose you think you’re showing me up. Read this.

  3. ogre

    Short answer: yes.Let’s not dress it up all pretty; Jindal LIED.His story’s been dissected; he wasn’t with Henry Lee. He claims an insight/experience that Lee only having claimed LATER.Jindal didn’t misspeak. His memory was not in error. He LIED, and he lied thinking that he wouldn’t (maybe couldn’t) be called on it (since Lee’s now dead).He lied. He lied publicly and to the people for the purpose of looking good.For that, he ought to be publicly pilloried. People died, and he wants to wear their skins for political advantage.

  4. The Arranger

    Perhaps Jindal didn’t intend to lie, but was temporarily possessed by a demon.Bob in Peabody

  5. Dan Kennedy

    Bob: Who will exorcise the exorcist?

  6. lkcape

    No, Dan. I am not trying to show you up, I am suggesting that politicians of all stripes puff their pastries.

  7. Dan Kennedy

    Ikcape: No, they don’t. Some do. Hillary Clinton does. Bobby Jindal does. Shading the truth to put yourself in the best possible light is human nature. Making up stories about yourself out of whole cloth is not, and those few politicians who do it are held in contempt, appropriately so.

  8. Chalicechick

    Also, Lee was a really scary dude. I’m still amazed that Jindal would talk on National TV about having had anything to do with him.

  9. lkcape

    Let’s try Roland Burris and Governor Rod as examples, too. Closer to home are Speakers Tom and Sal and Senator Diane and Councilman Chuck.These are the people who are, in fact, elected and appointed to be our “leaders”. Notice that these are all Democrats…presumed “liberals”. Most are still on the public payroll either directly or through their retirement benefits.Where is the moral outrage from the media and the critics of the media to throw these bums out?

  10. Dan Kennedy

    Ikcape: What has Sal done? Take your time …

  11. Ani

    Are empty promises considered lies? (Generally speaking — this is not about Sal)

  12. Dan Kennedy

    Ani: Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true, or is it something worse?

  13. Ani

    Dan: Maybe the dream just needs to be re-interpreted.

  14. jvwalt

    lkcape: Pick and choose, pick and choose. There are just as many liars on the right as on the left. Let’s take Ronald Reagan. Many of his most priceless anecdotes were fake. Some even turned out to be scenes from old movies. The charitable interpretation is that he was lying through his teeth. The scary interpretation is that he couldn’t tell fantasy from reality. I could also throw in W. here. He lied to get us into a war, which strikes me as a little worse than anything any Massachusetts pol has ever done.

  15. NewsHound

    It may not be exactly 50 – 50 as to the ratio of Democrat and Republican liars, but on the law of averages I suspect it is pretty darn close over any 20-year period of time. Whether it is Gov. Palin, former Senator Stevens, former Gov. Blago, Gov. Jindal, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Roland Burris or Ted Kennedy – too many of our politicians have more than little white lies in their closet of skeletons. Maybe the oath of office should include a promise to tell the truth.

  16. Dan Kennedy

    I think there’s something different — psychologically, existentially — about saying “I am not a crook” when you are, in fact, a crook as opposed to concocting an entire fantasy in which you cast yourself as a hero, as Hillary Clinton did and as Bobby Jindal appears to have done.If you’re accused of wrongdoing, your natural inclination is to deny it, whether it’s true or not. That’s not even remotely the same as telling a completely false story about your role in liberating a Nazi death camp, as Ronald Reagan did.

  17. Ani

    There’s the speaker’s intention/state of mind and then there’s the impact on the listener — and the two things may not be very closely related — so it’s hard to know how to compare “lies.”

  18. lkcape

    Wait and see. Sal didn’t resign because he was being noble and righteous, now, did he?And what about the others?

  19. Dan Kennedy

    Ikcape: Wait and see??? You use Sal DiMasi as an example. What did he do? I’m not asking you about the others. I’m asking you about DiMasi, one of your examples.

  20. NewsHound

    Clearly there is a difference in defense over a contrived story, but in either case it is for personal gain. In one case we’re trying to get out of trouble we’re already in, and in other case trying to get into trouble when there shouldn’t be a need if honest and willing to accept reality. In either case it is deceitful.

  21. lkcape

    Let’s now turn the prism a might and look at the media types engaged in similar behavior. Mike Barnacle and Jason Blair come quickly to mind as do, to a lesser degree, Mary Mapes and Dan Rather. No profession is immune. Is it right to worship at their feet, too?

  22. Ani

    Confabulation is sometimes not so much about personal gain (some people actually tell stories against self-interest) — it seems to be more about not sorting through memories carefully or accurately and instead saying something plausible and that the speaker thinks the audience wants to hear, because it’s easier in the moment.

  23. Tunder

    lkape – are you completely insane? You mention Blago, Burris, Chuck and Diane and then you say: “Where is the moral outrage from the media and the critics of the media to throw these bums out?” All of these have been pilloried and hounded about all sorts of things and have been repeatedly shamed and asked to resign.Stop watching the Disney channel and check out the news once in awhile.

  24. Dan Kennedy

    Tunder: Good points. But I ask again: What did Sal do?

  25. O-FISH-L

    Dan and lkCape, for starters…”Boston contractor Jay Cashman met privately last fall with House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi in a bid to ease permitting rules for wind farms in Massachusetts waters, a meeting that appears to contradict DiMasi’s earlier assertion that he never spoke with Cashman, a close friend, about legislation affecting Cashman’s business.”–Frank Phillips, Boston Globe, May 23, 2008.—-At least your consistent Dan. Who could forget your outrage last fall when during the VP debate, Sen. Joe Biden said, “Look, all you have to do is go down Union Street with me in Wilmington or go to Katie’s Restaurant…” Of course Katie’s closed in 1990, and Dan pounced on Biden for it. Right, Dan?

  26. NewsHound

    One of my friends is a very seasoned politician, a darn good liar and a most entertaining story teller. When with friends we share his stories and laugh never knowing how much is true, twisted, enhanced, embellished or false. He’s a good person, an excellent politician and well liked by those with a sense of humor willing to not take him seriously all the time. He’ll tell some real whoppers, and some might really be true, but I like his other friends chuckle never knowing if true or just entertaining.Even so, Hillary and Jindal are wrong to attempt to con the public.

  27. O-FISH-L

    “The narrative underlying the indictment directly contradicts DiMasi’s previous statements that he was unaware of Vitale’s work on behalf of the Massachusetts Association of Ticket Brokers.”–Andrea Estes and Matt ViserBoston Globe, December 19, 2008

  28. O-FISH-L

    “[State Rep. Richard] Ross said he was told that if the casino bill was defeated, the speaker would allow a vote on slot machines at race tracks. The Boston media reported that DiMasi denied making any promise on a slot machine bill. Asked about the discrepancy, Ross said he walked over to DiMasi while speaking to The Sun Chronicle by cell phone and DiMasi confirmed the slot machine bill would come up for a vote.”–Jim Hand Sun Chronicle Friday, March 21, 2008

  29. lkcape

    Hmmmm… independent views of Speaker Sal’s actions? Your views, Dan?This is not about specific politicians or their statements. It is about the propensity of our civic leaders to pad their resumes to get to or stay in a position of power. The anger, while well directed at the liar, needs to be focused at the electorate that continues to accept these puffers as the ones who control the destiny of our society.It is not party-specific. Here in MA, the move away from a single-party dominance of our political life might actually improve how we are actually governed.

  30. O-FISH-L

    And perhaps the biggest DiMasi lie of them all…”In the interview, DiMasi denied that the ethics allegations are playing a role in his departure,…”–Frank PhillipsBoston Globe, January 26, 2009

  31. Dan Kennedy

    Wow, those are some allegations about DiMasi! I’ll bet some have seen him jaywalking in the North End, too.I’ll also bet he never gets charged with anything.

  32. O-FISH-L

    Repeatedly lying about unethical and potentially criminal backroom legislative deals is akin to jaywalking? Wow. Meanwhile, let’s hang the Republican Jindal from the highest yardarm on mere suspicion that his anecdote was embellished. No bias. None, I say!

  33. Steve

    You must be kidding me. Jindal hung from the highest yardarm? Hardly. A few blogs are talking about this, but it’s not even close to national news.The bigger sin, and the bigger news, is that Jindal stunk up the joint with that pitiful excuse for a speech, and a delivery that has made him the butt of ridicule, and deservedly so. No one’s going to forgive him that, least of all the Republicans.

  34. Joel Monka

    Amusingly, Biden attempted to criticize Jindal’s speech, and told a whopper of his own in the process! See false stats

  35. Bill H.

    Isn’t the bottom line on this one that Jindal gave a really lousy speech and has been taken to the woodshed on a number of counts? Let’s deal with that.

  36. Dan Kennedy

    Joel: The report you link to repeats over and over that Louisiana has actually added jobs; then, at the end, we learn the unemployment rate has gone up. So if I were you, I’d wait on that one.

  37. Dan Kennedy

    Joel: I know that Biden’s “lie” is the hit of the Internet right now thanks to Drudge. But you might want to check your facts.According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Louisiana’s unemployment rate rose from 3.8 percent in June to 5.9 percent in December. During that time period, 45,065 people in Louisiana lost their jobs. That adds up to approximately 250 per day — not 400, I’ll grant you, but a damned high number, and certainly one that contradicts the Jindal administration’s claim that the state was actually adding jobs.Now it’s nearly March. We know that the recession and unemployment have accelerated over the past two months. I don’t have January and February numbers of Louisiana, but I may just be looking in the wrong places.But I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if an average of 400 people a day have been losing their jobs in Louisiana since the first of the year. Would you?

  38. lkcape

    Need I remind that Vice President Biden had his mea culpa moment some years ago when he apologized for plagiarism in one of his Presidential candidacies?And then there’s this classic one” “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms Lewinski!”And finally, does anyone believe that Rep. Frank had no role in the failures of the financial regulatory systems as he has claimed?I reiterate, this propensity belongs exclusively to neither party or gender. It does, however, show itself prominently in our political classes.Dan’s liberal bias is refreshingly open and direct. No problem there.But Dan’s focus is also on the media and how it responds to the challenges of our society.I would think that the stridency with which the lie is condemned might be matched with similar condemnation of the acceptance and the continuance of the liars in their places of power and privilege.I wonder where the repairs to the Menino family homes revelations may lead us next?

  39. O'Rion

    Menino? What’s so hard about keeping on point? This is about a response that got carried off to fairy tale land, not a case of –potentially– misuse of public funds. Remember when Gov. Pete Wilson told his “doll house” anecdote? It fell apart when people wanted to know where they could order one.

  40. lkcape

    We are. The latest kerfuffle has city workers working on the Menino family properties.Allegedly a city worker under contract to a third party. But what about the appearance of impropriety. Or is the Globe wrong to mention the incident and point out that, by implication, the powerful are … We should let that story play out as it will ‘ere we go further.

  41. Ani

    NewsHound: It occurred to me this morning that there is something of a supply-and-demand dynamic going on that lies underneath the personal gain from lying part of the problem. We in the audience give lots of points to people for landing under sniper fire or standing up to the bureaucracy. If we reduced our need to see people as heroes (or villains), then the only things politicians could lie about would be mundane things like what they actually accomplished (which might be more easily measured). But I agree that the personal gain part makes it different from a merely entertaining party anecdote.

  42. mike_b1

    Is Jindal Indian for “idiot?”The clothes, the lisp, the tall tales. It’s all too much.Just wondering.

  43. O-FISH-L

    While I don’t think Jindal’s mediocre delivery was intentional, the appearance that Obama has no effective opposition may actually benefit the GOP in the next cycle.My opinion is that in Congress, the GOP should provide the worthy opposition to Obama’s most reckless programs, but that’s it. The GOP should suspend the token “opposition response” speeches and any other public maneuvering. Play dead, in other words. Let the Dems run amok, like they are currently doing. One recalls the lifeless Mass. GOP of 1986. Greg Hyatt, Royall Switzler, George Kariotis up for Governor. The local GOP appeared to be such a joke that Dukakis, Bulger and the rest of the Democrats ran wild, much like we see on the federal level today. The public’s response? Voter outrage and a Republican sweep of the ballot in 1990. That year, even Robert Hall, an elderly man from the Needham area, I believe, had put his name on the ballot for Norfolk County treasurer. No money, no campaign, just name on the ballot with an “R”. He was up against an unbeaten, powerful Democrat Quincy (the only city in Norfolk) city councilor. Hall had no chance. He told me that he went to bed and was awakened by a phone call from the Patriot Ledger at 3 AM. How does it feel, Mr. Treasurer? Similar scenarios played out across the state. Republicans would do well to let history repeat itself on the national stage.

  44. Nial Liszt

    Fish– You mean bring back Ali’s Rope-a-Dope as Hope-a-Dope?

  45. O-FISH-L

    Nial, call it what you will, but since they’re powerless to stop his agenda, the GOP should allow Obama free reign to spend, tax and marry everything he wants. Sure bet, public outrage will boil over.

  46. mike_b1

    You forget, or choose to ignore, the public overwhelmingly voted for Obama and his policies.And you assume that his policies won’t work. Someone will have to explain someday why the world’s greatest investor, Warren Buffett, and likely its greatest economist, Larry Summers, are wrong, and all these folks idling away their days at their keyboards on blogs are right.

  47. NewsHound

    Ani: Telling lies or even embellishing one’s accomplishments for personal gain, and especially in politics which is so often the case, is immoral, unethical and a violation to our society, whether or not in struggling mode as we seem to be now. You hit the nail on the head.Some people are born to tell stories and embellish to entertain, and love being a humorist, and some of these people even become politicians and that is fine so long as they don’t con the public. Thanks for your comments.

  48. O'Reilly

    Repeatedly lying about unethical and potentially criminal backroom legislative deals is akin to jaywalking?What a person says to a reporter is not subject to perjury charges but we’d agree that once you lose trust in a person, you won’t re-elect them.You better spell out the alleged unethical behaviour. It’s not clear what you think is unethical. I noticed you did not use the word illegal. Any reason?People aren’t cited for jaywalknig in Boston but go to Seattle or San Fran and get yourself one. It’s kinda surprising. Di you mean to leave out the assertion that Dimasi is anti-semetic?

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